Fashion Week returned to Los Angeles for its fifth season on Wednesday night, picking up where Paris Fashion Week left off. Over five consecutive evenings, catwalk shows were held one after another in a glorious, high-ceilinged ballroom in downtown’s historic Alexandria Hotel.
Like many fashion weeks outside the big four – New York, London, Milan and Paris – LA Fashion Week is still finding its footing. The schedule lacks a major hometown label. Influencers and street style notables weren’t in attendance. The front row included more “friends of the designer” than celebrities. And for all the fashion-related buzz Los Angeles has received this year – with Tommy Hilfiger, Rebecca Minkoff and Rachel Comey skipping New York Fashion Week in February to show in LA – these designers still followed the NYFW calendar instead of showing at LAFW.
To become a must-see for international buyers and press, LAFW needs to both court the big names – homegrown label Rodarte would be a start – and the best emerging talent. LAFW is already showing progress on the latter front. Indeed, we saw several promising young designers that, though commercially unestablished, have already attracted some major celebrity fans. Here were the three who caught our attention this season.